Heartburn medication Zantac (and its generic drug ranitidine) has not been found to produce weight gain in most users. Rather, its side effects are usually associated with losing rather than gaining weight.
The types of side effects more commonly found in Zantac include nausea, vomiting, constipation, headaches, and more. In some studies, over the past 15 years, researchers found that rare weight gain may occur in patients using a combination of different medications, one which included ranitidine. Those studies were inconclusive on the direct cause of slight weight gain.
If you are a user of the medication Zantac or its generics (with ranitidine), you should know that Zantac is potentially causing more than just weight fluctuations in users. It may be causing cancer.
What Is Zantac?
Zantac (also known by its generic drug name ranitidine) is a commonly used drug that is taken to lower the amount of stomach acid produced in humans. It is also effective in treating heartburn, which occurs when stomach acid comes up through the esophagus, causing a burning feeling in the chest and throat.
Ranitidine has been prescribed by doctors to help reduce stomach acid, heartburn conditions, and coughing or difficulty in swallowing. It is part of a drug classification known as H2 blockers, which halt the growth of acid-making cells in the lining of the stomach according to patient.info. This in turn lowers the amount of acid produced in the stomach. H2 blockers are also used to heal ulcers in the stomach.
Until recently, Zantac and its generics were available through a prescription or over-the-counter sales in drug stores. That is, until the FDA called for a voluntary recall in September 2019.
Last summer, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration received word that routine tests on Zantac and other ranitidine drugs were showing traces of N-Nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) that were exceeding any measure of safe levels in the pills. NDMA is a known carcinogen. In some cases, the levels were 300 times higher than a safe level. At first investigation, the FDA announced that in November 2019 Americans might be exposed to as much NDMA by eating smoked or grilled meats than by taking Zantac.
Since then, additional testing by the FDA and its partner companies found that NDMA levels became higher over time in Zantac and other ranitidine products. For this reason, the FDA announced in April 2020 that it was removing all ranitidine products (including Zantac) from the market. The agency recommended that people taking Zantac should speak to their doctors about moving to other acid-reflux reducing products.
The list of cancers that have been associated with the use of Zantac includes cancer of the stomach, liver, esophagus, kidney, pancreas, lungs, colorectal, and others.
Effects of Zantac Tests
Further tests on Zantac and ranitidine have shown that the products did not have NDMA levels when the capsules left the manufacturing labs. However, it has surfaced that the NDMA linked to causing various cancers was showing up later in the ranitidine products that had been sitting in delivery trucks or warehouses for a while or were exposed to warm temperatures.
However, Zantac and other ranitidine drug makers did not actively warn resellers, distribution companies or other intermediaries to alert them that this probable cancer-causing agent could evolve in the pills. This is the key area where negligence is being discussed for the drug makers of Zantac. With millions of Zantac users potentially at risk, this factor may be the determining fault that’s found in these cases. The numbers of people exposed to NDMA in Zantac are substantial.
Further investigations are ongoing on both sides, and class action lawsuits may appear on the horizon this year.
Once Zantac and generic medications were recalled, cases began to emerge of Zantac users who had developed cancer. Lawyers started to look into the possibility of negligence cases against the manufacturers.
The original lawsuits sought to prove that Zantac drug makers like Sanofi and Boehringer Ingelheim did not warn consumers about the possibility of the cancer-causing chemical NDMA in Zantac.
If a person is now suffering from cancer because of taking Zantac, and can prove a clear connection between the cancer and taking Zantac, that person may be able to recover monetary damages for hospital costs, medical bills, costs of physical pain, lost job wages, mental disruption and other effects. If a death occurred as a result of Zantac causing cancer, the remaining family members can also sue to try to retrieve the costs of death, funeral and burial expenses; expected money lost from job earnings because of that person’s death, and even costs to compensate for the loss of human companionship.
Various class action lawsuits are in development in multiple U.S. states, and may have large repercussions for damages paid by Zantac manufacturers.
Find the Right Law Team
If you or a loved one used Zantac in the past, and you’re wondering “can Zantac cause weight gain?”, and are now suffering from cancer or other serious side effects from Zantac, then it might be time to contact a lawyer to learn about possible financial compensation. Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today at (800) 635-1144 for a free case evaluation. The call is free and there is no obligation.